ESPN will kick off its first NBA Friday night doubleheader of the season with an Atlantic division battle as the Brooklyn Nets travel down to the Wells Fargo Center to meet the Philadelphia 76ers.
Both of these teams have dominated headlines heading into the new year for the wrong reasons with Philly dealing with the on-going drama with Ben Simmons while the Nets are dealing with the ramifications of not having Kyrie Irving on hand due to his COVID-19 vaccination stance. Regardless of the distractions, both Eastern Conference contenders are looking to gain some early-season momentum with a win here.
The Nets enter as slight 1.5-point favorites and the point total is set at 229.5. Let’s take a look at some of the best bets ahead of this game with odds coming from DraftKings Sportsbook.
Note — Joel Embiid (knee) is being listed as questionable to play in Friday’s game vs. the Nets.
Pick ATS: 76ers +1.5
Philly dominated in their season debut earlier in the week, handling the Pelicans for a 117-97 road victory. They were mostly money from downtown, shooting 52% from three and 51.8% from the field overall. They also got solid 20+ point performances from Joel Embiid, Tobias Harris, and Tyrese Maxey.
At home for the first time this season, they’ll be energized and extra galvanized by the Simmons situation. The play is to lean with the home team here.
Over/Under: Over 229.5
Brooklyn’s defense was still suspect in their 127-104 loss to the Bucks on Tuesday. Milwaukee shot 45.7% from the field and got numerous second-chance opportunities with 13 offensive rebounds on the night.
The 76ers should be able to get those same opportunities to put up points with Embiid in the paint and with the Nets’ offense funneling through Kevin Durant, this one will be a high-scoring affair.
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